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On May 24, Mitsubishi engineers announced that an intelligent robot they created solved the famous Rubik's Cube in just 0.3 seconds. It is worth mentioning that in 2016 the fastest time for a robot to solve the Rubik's cube was one minute, compared to 1:04 minutes in 2009.

Among humans, the best record belongs to Max Park, with 3.13 seconds on June 20, 2023. And when the Hungarian Ernő Rubik created his cube in 1974, he himself, even though he was the creator, needed a month for the colors to appear. each one remained on a different face of the cube, without mixing.

Using round numbers, in 50 years we went from solving the Rubik's cube in 2.6 million seconds (the approximate number of seconds in a month) to just 3 seconds (in the case of humans) in 2023 and only 3 tenths of second in 2024 (i.e. ten times faster than the best human) in the case of intelligent robots.

These types of examples can be repeated almost indefinitely with many other technologies, be they automobiles, airplanes, telephones, or computers, among other devices of rapid and irreversible advancement and transformation. Think about how quantum computers can perform certain computations exponentially faster than classical computers, enabling breakthroughs in cryptography, simulation, optimization, and machine learning.

Unfortunately, the same does not happen with our level of intelligence or maturity, whether at the individual level or at the level of all humanity.

About 2,500 years ago, almost at the very beginning of Western civilization, Heraclitus complained at the beginning of his book that humans do not know universal reason (logos in Greek, something like “unifying principle”), not even though Someone explain the topic to them. Therefore, Heraclitus said, we remain perpetually “inexperienced” and live life “as if we were asleep.”

Five centuries later, at the beginning of our era, the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria complained in the first lines of his work “On the Embassy of Gaius (Caligula)” that his contemporaries “who are already advanced in age, still act like children, even though they have truly had gray hair for a long time” (non-literal translation).

Skipping about 16 centuries, closer in time, in his essay “What is Enlightenment?” In 1784, Kant argued that most people live (we live) in a state of “self-imposed dependence” and, therefore, “incapable of using their own intellect without the guidance of someone else.” In other words, out of cowardice or fear, we perpetuate our immaturity and let others “rule” us.

In our own time, the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler (1952-2020) spoke of the “infantilization of adults” to the point that we are “incapable of reaching the maturity of critical thinking.” And German thinker Theodor Adorno warned of a society that “promotes ignorance,” as well as “the infantile state of passivity and thoughtless consumption.”

In short, from Heraclitus to the present, nothing has changed. As the American sociobiologist Edward Wilson rightly pointed out, we have a “quasi-divine technology” and, at the same time, “a paleolithic brain and emotions.”

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